Needing to move away from parents

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My husband and I have been the primary caregivers for his parents for the last 3 years. His father is in the mid stages of Alzheimer's and his mother has MID from strokes she has had. She is still relatively aware and cooks their meals and so forth. She cannot handle money and pay the bills or drive. My husband goes over there everyday to make coffee for the next morning and make sure they have their meds. Plus once a week or so, he gives the house a quick cleaning. The problem is that I am terribly homesick (we live 400 miles away from our home town) and it is causing problems in our marriage because I am starting to resent him because we live here. He has agreed to move back home, because he truthfully isn't happy here either. The problem is, although mom and dad can't take care of themselves, they refuse to move into a care facility, and we have no DPA to make them go. They also have no money, since they got a reverse mortgage on the house and my MIL spent over $200,000 on HSN and QVC...

Does anyone know if we are legally bound to continue to care for them? I just don't know what to do. I feel like we are being held prisoner. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Check with the County, in their vicinity, to see if there's in-home care and see if their insurance covers it. It would be beneficial if your husband did a DPOA for finances and healthcare and have them sign it. This way, they are protected and he can do their finances, etc. There are free DPOA's for finances and healthcare on the Internet for their specific State where they live. You may have to make some small changes, print it out and the one for finances have to be notarized. However the one for healthcare just needs witness signatures.

However, I would be very careful if I were you because we all will be where they are one day and God says to honor your mother and father.

I had to fly out to CA and move my mom here to GA with us, and it's been very stressful and a challenge. However, I know that it had to be done. She took care of me and now it's my turn to care for her. Please don't allow selfish motives to deter you from doing what's right, and support your husband in what he's doing. After all, they are his parents. Don't allow satan to use this to destroy your marriage, because he will if you allow him.

If they are members of a church, go and talk to their pastor and see if the church can assist in anyway.

Good luck
Dear msambrosia, your husbands parents need protection. Their situation, just to let you know WILL get worse. Especially those with dementia or alzheimers. Just read past posts and you will learn a lot from others who have been through it. You know what? I have moved wherever we had to in my marriage to make a living. I made the vow to always follow my husband in every move to support him. You do what you have to, to make it work, and not hold resentments, especially if you chose to follow. 400 miles is nothing. I moved 1,200 miles from my hometown. Then, I had to move my dad too eight years later. Your husband is doing a wonderful thing for his parents. I ask you, wouldn't you want him to support you in doing the same for your parents as well, if you are still lucky enough to have them? Good luck to you and your husband. It is hard and a strain on marriages, none of us here will lie to you.
I too care for my widowed aging mother, I am not well myself, actually she seems to have better health than I. Shortly, on her 85th Birthday, she has invited her 82 yr. old sister, also a widow, to move from Pennsylvania her to Colorado to love with her. My younger brother died last year so now I have two elderly women to care for. Neither can drive, don't see or hear well. At first I was obstinate. Then on reconsidered. Why shouldn't they enjoy their aging as they did their youth. They will enrich each others last years. So I am changing my attitude. I will also be hopeful that I can find some outside day help. Some counties have grant money for respite care, housekeeping, meals, etc. I have found thst caregivers for the elderly are usually tender hearted and helpful. If your parents need more time, attention and financial help contact your local health department for available help. I have someone come in once a week to clean the kitchen, bathroom, change bedding. I take Mom grocery shopping, hire someone to cut the grass, and take her beloved pet to the vets. She and I disagree, but we always call and say good night. When she was injured a few years ago, her insurance paid for a nurse to come into the home to tend the wound after she was released from rehab, check with their insuance carrier or change to a better plan if you can. There are can be options you are not aware of. If parental care is disruptive to your marriage, try to get some additional help, moving away may not be the only answer or maybe moving the parents is an option you really haven't considred.
3930 helpful answers
Well said, Desertdaughter. Respite care is much better and easier to get in some areas than others, but in many places there are Federal dollars available and people don't even know it. I'd check with the aging services people on any state's Web site. They would know what agency to contact in your county to see if there is money available for respite care.
Dear msambrosia75,
I'm sorry that I'm not able to answer your questions or be of any help in that way but I'd like to offer a suggestion and my 2 cents worth that I hope may help in some way.

First of all, don't let anyone lay a guilt trip on you for being homesick and wanting to go home. You are not being selfish. What you are feeling is a natural human feeling and it has to do with love. It has nothing to do with Satan.

While it’s true that we are supposed to honor our parents, a person’s mate is supposed to come first. Jesus made that quite clear. In Matthew 19:5, He said that a man is to leave his parents and cling to his wife and the two are to be one (meaning the woman and her feelings are equal to the man’s?). I suspect that a lot more marriages have been destroyed by people putting other people, including blood relatives, first above their mate, than has ever been destroyed by Satan. Personally, I think Satan has been given to much credit/blame for peoples’ bad actions. God gave us free will and we all choose our actions.

Just remember, your feelings are as valid and important as anybody else’s.
Contrary to what some people may think, being a woman does not make one unequal or less important.
The Bible has much to say caring for elderly parents and other family members who are not able to care for themselves. The early Christian church acted as the social services agency for other believers. They cared for the poor, the sick, the widows and the orphans who had no one else to care for them. Christians who had family members in need were expected to meet those needs. Unfortunately, caring for our parents in their old age is no longer an obligation that many of us are willing to accept.

The elderly can be seen as burdens rather than blessings. Sometimes we are quick to forget the sacrifices are parents made for us when they are in need of care themselves. Instead of taking them into our homes—whenever that is safe and feasible—we put them in retirement communities or nursing homes, sometimes against their will. We may not value the wisdom they have acquired through living long lives, and we can discredit their advice as “outdated.”

When we honor and care for our parents, we are serving God as well. The Bible says, “The church should care for any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God very much....But those who won't care for their own relatives, especially those living in the same household, have denied what we believe. Such people are worse than unbelievers” (1 Timothy 5:3-4, 8).

Not all elderly people need or want constant, live-in care in their children's homes. They may prefer to live in a community with other people their age, or they may be quite capable of complete independence. Regardless of the circumstances, we still have obligations to our parents. If they are in need of financial assistance, we should help them. If they are sick, we should take care of them. If they need a place to stay, we should offer our home. If they need help with household and/or yard work, we should step up to assist. And if they are under the care of a nursing facility, we need to assess the living conditions to make sure they are being properly and lovingly cared for.

We should never allow the cares of the world to overshadow the things that are most important—serving God through serving people, especially the people in our own families. The Bible says, "Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise—"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth" (Ephesians 6:2-3).
Dear Sue, well said. And my preacher tells us the same things... So, Amen, sister! And who said we are dishonoring if we don't move them in with us, or put them in a facility. Sometimes that's the more honorable thing to do. It may be the best in some situations, as who wants to live together by "obligation." If that works for your family and situation, praise the Lord! But don't guilt trip the rest of us if we choose differently. God has provided well for my family members, and given us back our joy. Dad #1 and Dad #2 are roommates together in a fantastic facility, and Mom's about to have her very own apartment, close by. There's no way any of us would be happy living together, and none of us feel dishonored, oppressed, or lacking in any good thing. In fact, I'm ready to move into the Nursing Home and get pampered myself. They live better than princes and princesses. I could in no way provide for my parent's medical, physical, social, spiritual, and mental needs than "the man in the moon." And we're living proof of the grace of God and his provision. God is good, and has given many resources to seniors and families. No longer isolated and lonely. Now pampered and protected. No burden on the family to do what's often not possible, and more than honoring to those in need. God provided Physicians, Nurses, Aides, Therapists, Support Staff, and Nursing Care Facilities for our benefit and use. Why wear out the family members, who are all just trying to raise their young, make a living, and contribute to their family and community? Who said we have to all be nurses?! All Jesus requires is showing love and compassion. Let God help us with the rest!!!
3930 helpful answers
There are many ways to care for our parents. Everyone has different needs and circumstances. If caregiving in the home tears apart a marriage or a family, then other options need to be looked at. Many elders don't want to live with their kids. They feel more independent in a place with other seniors and people to do things with.

Many, of course, fight to stay in their own home - often from lack of knowledge of what other options are available. Sometimes, it works well to live with adult children. Sometimes, it's good for them to stay in their own homes. The only obligation is to do what is best for everyone, which generally means it's not perfect for anyone. We try our human best. It's all we can do.

Right on target, Anne. And thanks.

mqflowers, I was raised on the Bible so I don't need you or any other fundamentalist to tell me what the Bible has to say. God didn’t make you a judge and He didn’t put you or anyone else in charge of anyone else’s behavior except their own.
msambrosia75 is having heartbreaking problems and feeling bad enough as it is. She needs help and support, which is what she wrote looking for, not a sermon or a put down, but your response to her was a typical fundamentalist response. With maybe a couple exceptions, most of the fundamentalists I’ve seen are very short on compassion but long on judging and preaching.

Being a parent does not make them equal to God or mean that children should give them their life and serve them as if they are. Honor and respect are earned. Not all parents are deserving of it. We children, especially those of us who are giving good care to our parents, deserve respect and consideration too. I live with my mother in her house (where I grew up) and am taking care of her by myself and I can’t drive. Do you think that isn’t a helpless, scary situation to be in?
My transportation to the stores and medical appointments for both of us is with a senior center volunteer. If I can’t walk to other places I need to go, I have a problem. I would like to go to the store tomorrow to get a couple of things but I can’t get there till Wednesday, the day the volunteer is scheduled to take me.
Yes, I know that the early Christians helped and took care of each other. People from my mother’s church call her once in a while or send cards but no one asks if there’s anything they can help me with or even offer to bring me a sandwich. I used to go to that church too until I couldn’t stand the phoniness any more. I’m talking about hearing people get up and talk like they’re the soul of righteousness and say how Christians are supposed to treat other people and then treated me like I was nothing, nobody, instead of a member of Jesus family and someone who needed help. When I wasn’t there, a couple of them told me that I was missed, but not one person offered to come and get me. I guess no one wanted to go to that much trouble or maybe it was for insurance reasons. That’s the excuse that a lot of people use now. Anyway, when I went, I walked.

And don’t tell me about “family” either. Do you know what Jesus said when He was told that His mother and brethren were waiting outside for Him? In other words, he was saying that there was more to being family than just being blood related. My church-going, fundamentalist sister who doesn’t like me and who said I’m not going to go to Heaven, won’t come and help us. She did help with transportation sometimes when we just had to ask, usually to go to the vet, but she usually assigned it to her kids to do, and when she did offer to do anything, it was definitely because she thought she was obligated to do it, and she’d tell us how busy she was or she’d pitch it up later when she got mad about something. I don’t want anyone doing anything for me just because they think it’s their obligation. No thank you. Mother wouldn’t ask her to do anything either unless it was absolutely necessary. We aren’t even speaking now.
She played maid and servant to our parents 20+ ago (they didn’t need a caregiver at that time) while I was living “across the state”, something she seems to think I shouldn’t have done and keeps pitching up to me.
She seems to think that a child, no matter what their age, is to stay where their parents are and serve them. I’m not sure that my mother doesn’t feel the same way. So because I chose to have a life of my own, which meant at that time that I had to move 300 miles away from the family, she thinks that she did her share. Now that Mother needs a caregiver, I’m the one having to do it all. If I wasn’t here and it had been up to her to do, she’d have put Mother in the nursing home and sold the house a long time ago. I used to love my mother with all my heart and thought we were close but now she acts like I’m nothing more than a servant, and doesn’t even show the respect that a servant, a human being, should be shown. But she always went to church before she fell and now she listens to preachers on the TV, including Charles Stanley. So no, don’t tell me what the Bible has to say about family or anything else.
And as for my sister saying I’m not going to Heaven, fortunately, God didn’t give her the authority to judge and I don’t think He tells her who is or who isn’t going to be there. Jesus died for me too and when I accepted Him as my Savior a long time ago, that settled it.

When parents, or anyone, has to depend on someone else for help, they have to be willing to maybe do some things differently too, maybe even move. msambrosia75 said that her husband’s parents are refusing to move to a care facility, but you tell HER not to be selfish?

The Bible has a lot to say about how we’re to treat anyone and everyone, not just blood relatives. Do you also know what Jesus said the second greatest commandment is? Do you know that Jesus said (commanded) that we treat others the way we want to be treated and to help people, ANYONE, we happen on to that needs help? And the apostle Paul, who you people seem to think more of than Jesus, said that we are to bear each others’ burdens and therefore fulfill the law of Christ. He didn’t say to add to them.
Like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time, you all think you have all the answers and know what’s right (morally and otherwise) for everybody. You think you know all about God and everything He does and why He does it as if He made you all privy to everything He does, including who’s saved and who isn’t. Well, you don’t and He didn’t!
And why is it that when fundamentalists quote the Bible, you rarely quote from the teachings of Jesus? It’s usually either from the Old Testament or the apostle Paul, as you did. You people act like Paul was the one who was God and Savior. And why do you all always say “godly” or “godliness”, as you did, instead of Christ-like? People who profess to be Christians are supposed to want to be like Christ (Christ-like), aren’t they?

I hope that msambrosia75 is still on this board and reading these other responses but it would certainly be understandable if she isn’t.
"needing to move away from parents"? Am I on the right thread? Whoooa there caregivers! Although I have to say I totally agree with Anne, every situation is different for every family, and that needs to be taken into consideration. Sometimes the best thing to do for our loved one is place them in a much better situation for their best interest. This can be less stressful for all involved. For example, I will be placing my dad, so that he can get specialized care that I am not qualified to provide. Then I can go back to being the daughter, instead of the enemy. And dad won't feel like I am telling him what to do all the time, some one else can. I can walk in with flowers, a homecooked meal, a special basket with his favorite things, all with a smile on my face, instead of a face that shows I am too tired to care anymore. And he can go back to being just dad. But that is just my opinion. Everyone here is entitled to their own opinions, and we are all here to help one another, not preach the bible to one another. Have a good night, love and hugs to you all!

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